I was invited over to check out the recently-relaunched dining room at The Rising Sun in Fulwood. I’d been eyeing up their drool-worthy food via their Instagram pages for a little while, so was really excited to go check things out.
Formerly the tap room, the pub’s dining room relaunched last month after a refurb, with a greater focus on locally sourced food, presented in a more formal setting. The Rising Sun is one of two Abbeydale Brewery pubs in Sheffield, with the other being the Devonshire Cat; with both pubs having been through big refurbs in the past year, it’s clear that Abbeydale are investing in both venues and are keen to get things right.
I’ll be honest with you- I hadn’t visited The Rising Sun before, so I don’t know what the old tap room was like. But, I do know that the food we enjoyed in the dining room is some of the best pub food we’ve had in Sheffield in the five years we’ve lived here.
We visited on a Monday and it was surprisingly busy for what is traditionally one of the quietest days of the week in catering; there were four other tables in alongside us, 3 of which were groups.
Our server let us know about the day’s specials- there was a French onion soup on, and the pie of the day was a beef and onion, with a potato top, served with chips. While this sounds like a carb-lover’s dream, my other half is one of the pie fascists Eat Like A Girl recently wrote about: as long as pie filling is not completely surrounded by pastry, it will not grace our table.
The other risk of dining on a Monday is that places will often have sold out of things over the weekend; there were, pleasingly, only two things on the menu the pub was sold out of and neither were items we were dead set on. Phew.
We started off with a rhubarb gin & elderflower tonic for me, and a half of Happy Daze (a still cider) for my OH. The gin selection at the Rising Sun was small but pleasing:
The service was chatty and friendly. The atmosphere was nice- there was some music playing (mainly contemporary pop stuff), but it wasn’t very loud. The focus in the dining room was to be able to hold a conversation, which is how it should be.
Our starters arrived – our eyes lit up.
My chorizo and black pudding hash was huge. The chorizo packed a spicy punch, the black pudding brought it back down to earth. The poached egg on top was slightly overdone but the yolk still had some ooze. The portion size was very generous, especially for £5.75:
There was a little bit of disappointment from my OH that the other starter, a crab Scotch egg, arrived already cut open; but this avoided a presentation challenge and made for a really attractive-looking plate:
The Scotch egg was very tasty and fresh with a crispy outside and plenty of dill; the fennel salad alongside it was crunchy and the whole dish made me feel like summer is just around the corner. Our starters were polished off in no time.
We left similarly clean plates behind after our main courses.
The braised beef cheek with horseradish mash, textures (I don’t love that descriptor on a menu, but it was nice) of shallots and kale crisps was great:
The beef was tender but not stringy; the mash was creamy; the kale hadn’t been overcooked to the point of instantly dissolving to dust in your mouth, unlike when I try to crisp kale up at home. The pickled shallot was a good antidote to the richness of the rest of the dish, cutting through with a zing. And the crispy onion ring (one of the other textures) was great.
You know those dishes you have when you’re out and you just know you’d lick the plate if you were at home? (Just me, then?) My lamb rump with potato fondant, carrot puree, spinach and redcurrant jus was one of those:
The presentation was lovely. The lamb was perfectly pink. The fondant potato was on point, the touch of honey on the carrots was addictive and the portion size, again, was very good. I’m feeling a little bit emotional recalling it here, so fond was I of this dish.
We’d already looked at the dessert menu ahead of our visit so had arrived with pretty fixed ideas about which dessert to have. This was before we knew about the portion sizes, but I decided to commit and deal with the consequences (i.e. feeling too full to move) later.
I nabbed the last treacle tart in the place and I’m so glad I did. The presentation was gorgeous and, importantly, the flavour matched:
The sponge was tasty and the ratio of cake to sauce was right, and that marshmallow rice krispie treat was a playful bit of childhood nostalgia which made me smile.
Across the table, the rhubarb and custard dessert fell into the “[almost] too pretty to eat” camp.
Nonetheless, it was eaten and was delicious. The custard cake was a nice, different way of having custard be part of a dessert and the whole dish got me excited about the advent of longer, lighter days.
Feeling full, happy and in disbelief that the amazing food we’d just had was from a pub kitchen, we got in our taxi home, raving about each course and trying to choose our favourite. We’ll definitely be heading back to The Rising Sun (indeed, we’re already planning my other half’s birthday celebrations there).
Their five-course tasting menu this coming Tuesday (28th March) looks great. The menu is billed as cauliflower cheese, asparagus, wasabi langoustines, chicken & corn and then Eton mess. But, based on our experience, nothing will be quite as you expect it and will be much more ambitious and beautifully-presented than, say, the cauliflower cheese you may be picturing. And at only £30 a head, it’s great value.
Quiz fans among you may be interested to know The Rising Sun run two (yes, 2!) quiz nights a week, on a Wednesday and Sunday. It’s a 9:30pm start and there are free sandwiches.
The Rising Sun is a dog-friendly pub. Although dogs aren’t allowed in the dining room side of the pub, they’re welcome everywhere else- and the food menu is available throughout the pub, not just the dining room- which means we’ll be returning soon with our pup to check out the other side of the pub.
Thanks again to The Rising Sun for having me along. I genuinely think this is some of the most exciting pub food happening in Sheffield right now and is great value for money. If you’ve not been yet, go check it out and let me know your thoughts.